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By ESPN Staff

Blades midfielder Flitcroft forced into retirement

Midfielder Garry Flitcroft has been forced to retire due to injury.

Flitcroft joined Sheffield United in January on a short-term contract from Blackburn after almost 10 years service for Rovers.

The 33-year-old made six appearances for United en route to boss Neil Warnock's side winning promotion to the Premiership.

With the club not taking up the option to extend his contract as they both agree he can no longer compete at the required level, Flitcroft has chosen to call time on his career.

'Garry had always maintained we would see the best of him in August after a full pre-season programme,' said Warnock. 'So this is a blow because Garry's Premiership experience would have been invaluable to us next season.'

Flitcroft started his career in 1991 at Manchester City, spending five years at Maine Road, making 142 appearances in which he captained the side.

In 1996, Blackburn then paid City £3.5million for his services, and despite being sent off four minutes into his debut, Flitcroft went on to play in 282 matches for the club.